The Associated Press just published an article about the hundreds of passengers and crew members who have filed suit against Costa and Carnival here in the U.S. following the Costa Concordia disaster.
A number of newspapers are running the story, as well as TIME magazine which carried the article "Passengers Suing Carnival Cruises for Millions over Costa Concordia Shipwreck."
Miami lawyer Gabrielle D’Alemberte, who represents five U.S. citizens suing in Florida, explains some of the drawbacks about trying to sue in Italy. She is quoted in the article explaining that Italy does not allow attorneys to work on a contingency fee basis in which the lawyer’s fee comes out of any settlement or verdict. She also states that compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress are harder if not impossible to collect in Italy. “This was traumatizing at every level . . . That’s a cause of action in this country. It’s not in Italy.”
Travel Agent Central, in an article written by Susan Young, published an article today explaining the jurisdictional difficulties that the passengers will face suing here in the U.S. The article is entitled Lawsuits Target Carnival Corp. in the U.S. But Will They Succeed? and quoted me extensively.
I would like to see all of the passengers and crew members obtain great success suing both Costa and Carnival here in the U.S. Costa's settlement offer of less than $15,000 is a joke, but I think that prospect of suing in Italy will be prohibitively expensive and time consuming and the outcome uncertain.. I think ultimately the cases here in the U.S. will be kicked out of court.
I hope I'm wrong but I don't think I am. You can read my thoughts about the prospects of successfully keeping the cases here in the U.S.in the article here.
The Washington Post covered the story and included the video interview of lawyer D’Alemberte, as well as Miami attorney Robert Peltz below:
Photo credit: Travel Agent Central